Freedom of press in August: growth of obstruction cases number, situation in Crimea gets worse again
In August, there were 9 registered cases of obstruction to journalists (in July – 5, in June - 8), and 6 assaults against mass media representatives (in the previous months - 7 and 2 cases, correspondingly).
This data is provided in IMI’s monthly monitoring "Freedom of press barometer".
This month, all cases of beating and assaults took place in Kyiv. Of them, four occurred during the disorders near the Parliament building, when protestors used smoke-puff charges and a combat grenade. Five journalists sustained injuries of varying gravity from grenade fragments: Dmytro Bolshakov («1+1»), Maksym Voloboyev and Mykola Liebedev (Channel 5), Roman Malko (information bureau «Pravyi») and French freelance photographer Antoine Delaunay.
“Journalists were obstructed in the cities of Dnipropetrovsk, Chernivtsi, Kyiv, Odesa, and Lutsk. The individuals that were preventing journalists from doing their work were, in different cases, unidentified men, an accused, a doctor, a Polish soccer fan, a professor of Odesa Maritime Academy, a concert organizer, rally participants, security guards in the Parliament, and the head of Community Council under the Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in Chernivetska oblast”, told IMI expert Kateryna Diachuk.
In addition, one case of censorship was registered in Kharkiv, an attack against an media outlet’s editorial office in Zaporizhzhya, unlawful denial of access to information by Kyiv city state administration, and one registered case of violations on the territories occupied by «DPR» and «LPR».
Also, in August two Internet media outlets claimed that they were under powerful DDOS-attacks that are, according to them, related to their journalist activities.
The worst region in the sphere of observance of rights of journalists and freedom of speech is still the annexed Crimea. For example, in Sevastopol, blogger Iryna Horelikova was taken for interrogation to FSB after she shared on her Facebook page a link about a press conference of the Presidential High Commissioner for Crimean Tatar people issues, member of Parliament Mustafa Dzhemiliov.
And on the Independence Day of Ukraine, on August 24, correspondent of «Inter» Yulia Kriuchkova and cameraman Vitaliy Ziatkovskyi, who work in the Crimean office of their TV channel, were taken by Russian policemen in Simferopol when they were recording footage in a local park, and brought to the central police station "for identification".
“Inter” is the only Ukrainian channel that has correspondents in the occupied Crimea who work openly.
You can find full description of cases included to Freedom of Press Barometer in the last month, if you follow this link.